Saving The Plains, Three Minutes at a Time

The Center for Great Plains Studies and The Nature Conservancy are combining to host “Conservation Jam” on Friday, February 1, in the Center’s Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q Street in Lincoln. 

Lincoln, NE | January 17, 2013

Lincoln, NE – The Center for Great Plains Studies and The Nature Conservancy are combining to host “Conservation Jam” on Friday, February 1, in the Center’s Great Plains Art Museum, 1155 Q St in Lincoln.

The Jam is a speed-presentation format, with each speaker getting three minutes. It will be followed by an informal reception where attendees will have time to collect information, chat with the presenters, and ask questions. A First Friday event, the Jam is free and open to the public and begins at 5:30 p.m. The Museum’s doors open at 5 and snacks will be provided.

Participants from across the state will take turns at the microphone, offering lessons, arguments, and calls to action on topics like grassland health, groundwater protection, and what citizens can do to save what remains of native plants and wildlife in our state. Speakers will include: Ken Dewey (UNL professor of climatology); Ann Bleed (water expert); Chris Helzer (The Nature Conservancy); Marian Langan (Audubon Nebraska); Sarah Sortum (Switzer Ranch); Rick Edwards (Center for Great Plains Studies); Chris Sommerich (the Nebraska Humanities Council); Jane Kleeb (Bold Nebraska); Charles Francis (UNL professor of agronomy and horticulture); Paul Johnsgard (noted author and ornithologist); William Whitney (Prairie Plains Resource Institute); Jeff Rawlinson (Nebraska Game and Parks), Annabel Lee Major (Nebraska Master Naturalist program); Brad Mellema (Nebraska Alliance for Conservation and Environmental Education); and others.

The Conservation Jam will be set amidst Michael Forsberg’s photographs of Great Plains: America’s Lingering Wild. His photos have inspired a popular NET documentary, a traveling art exhibit, and an audience as wide and diverse as the Plains themselves. The Jam is designed to build on this momentum. “Surrounded by Mike’s images to remind us what’s at stake, we will hear some provocative ideas. Should be fun and educational,” said Edwards, director of the Center. “The complex challenges to Great Plains conservation demand a range of ideas and creative solutions,” said Mace Hack, Nebraska State Director for The Nature Conservancy. “We look forward to hearing diverse perspectives.”

With support from Ted and Marlene Forke, the Nebraska Humanities Council, and the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, The Nature Conservancy is a co-sponsor of this exhibit and event.  It is one of many grants funded by the Nebraska Humanities Council (NHC).  The NHC awards more than $200,000 in grants each year. 

Created in 1973 as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, the NHC is an independent, non-profit organization governed by a volunteer board of of public and academic members.  The NHC funds programs that explore Nebraska's heritage, build community awareness, and strengthen our ties to cultural traditions at home and abroad. 

Any nonprofit group is eligible to apply for a grant from the NHC.  The NHC staff is available for grant consultation and will read proposal drafts.  Contact the NHS staff if you need assistance with a project idea.

For a copy of Nebraska Humanities Council grant guidelines, contact the Council at 215 Centennial Mall South, Suite 330, Lincoln, NE 68505, phone (402) 474-2131, fax (402) 474-4852, or email at  The entire grant guideline packet is online at 

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Jill Wells
(402) 342-0282 x 1002

Dr. Rick Edwards
Director, Center for Great Plains Studies
(402) 472-0602


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